Greenlight campaign raises another $26K

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Friends of Greenlight, the independent political committee to support the Greenlight Pinellas Plan, posted more than $26,000 in fundraising between June 21 and July 4.

According to financial reports filed with the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office, the PAC raised $26,250 last month, with another $11,388 of in-kind donations, and spent $31,931. The organization has raised $588,790 to date.

Twenty-seven donations came to the organization during the two-week reporting period— the two largest being $10,000 checks from Miami-based civil engineering firm BCC Engineering and Regions Bank, headquartered in Alabama.

LTK Engineering Services, one of the nation’s leading rail systems consulting firms, gave $3,000. Resorts Inns of America, based in St. Pete Beach, also gave $1,000.

Advocacy group Tampa Bay Partnership contributed in-kind administrative and accounting services worth $11,388.

Friends of Greenlight PAC provides political support for the Greenlight Pinellas initiative, which asks voters in November to approve a one-cent sales tax to expand public transit options countywide. The new sales tax will bring the county rate from seven to eight percent, replacing the current PSTA ad valorem property transit tax.

If approved, the Greenlight Pinellas will boost the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority operating budget to $130 million to expand bus nearly 65 percent. Greenlight Pinellas also proposes changes such as express bus lanes as well as instituting a grid system for improved wait times.

Supporters say the improvements will have riders waiting no longer than 15 minutes on average for a bus.

The most contested part of the plan is where the PSTA would start construction on a 24-mile light rail corridor between St. Petersburg and Clearwater Beach.

Opponents of Greenlight Pinellas — led by the group No Tax for Tracks – also raised $5,345 during the same two-week period, for a total of $37,001.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.